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J Comput Biol. 2011 Nov;18(11):1481-93. doi: 10.1089/cmb.2011.0156. Epub 2011 Oct 28.

Pedigree reconstruction using identity by descent.

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Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Can we find the family trees, or pedigrees, that relate the haplotypes of a group of individuals? Collecting the genealogical information for how individuals are related is a very time-consuming and expensive process. Methods for automating the construction of pedigrees could stream-line this process. While constructing single-generation families is relatively easy given whole genome data, reconstructing multi-generational, possibly inbred, pedigrees is much more challenging. This article addresses the important question of reconstructing monogamous, regular pedigrees, where pedigrees are regular when individuals mate only with other individuals at the same generation. This article introduces two multi-generational pedigree reconstruction methods: one for inbreeding relationships and one for outbreeding relationships. In contrast to previous methods that focused on the independent estimation of relationship distances between every pair of typed individuals, here we present methods that aim at the reconstruction of the entire pedigree. We show that both our methods out-perform the state-of-the-art and that the outbreeding method is capable of reconstructing pedigrees at least six generations back in time with high accuracy. The two programs are available at

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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